A Catholic podcast for women produced by the Diocese of Parramatta has celebrated its first anniversary.
Through its youth agency Catholic Youth Parramatta, the At The Well podcast recently recorded its 12th episode in a series that delves into issues that are relevant to women and faith.
Looking back over the last twelve months, co-hosts Qwayne Guevara and Rosie Drum mgl, Local Engagement Leader and Assistant Director from Catholic Youth Parramatta, and writer and mother Joy Adan spoke to Catholic Outlook about the joys they’ve received from encouraging young women to explore and question their faith.
“I can’t believe it’s been 12 months since we launched,” Qwayne said. “We recognised a need in our Diocese especially in young women who desired to strive for holiness with others.
“It’s truly an affirmation of the work of the Spirit. Thanks be to God!”
Joy added, “that it’s continued for a year and been able to provide connection and inspiration at the time when people miss physically gathering together as a community has been such a blessing, and I’m just grateful to be part of it.”
Rosie explained that the podcast “is definitely one of my favourite projects from the last 6 years of working in the CYP team, and I’m proud of how it’s developing.”
The idea to start a podcast for women followed the success of two “At The Well” evenings for young women hosted in the Diocese, which were inspired by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference’s Year of Youth.
The podcast, the hosts explain, is a chance to build on the joys of the “At The Well” evenings on a more regular basis, a chance to give a feminine perspective on questions of faith and life, and to continue the conversations sparked during the face-to-face gatherings.
Rosie explained, “the Catholic faith holds up a high moral standard for us to follow and young women who take their faith seriously can find it a lonely and isolating experience.
“Giving them a platform to explore with other women those topics that they want to understand better in order to share with their friends who have different values, is very valuable.”
Qwayne added, “opening opportunities for women to ask the tough questions allows us to delve deeper into the heart of who we are as women, and how God is calling each of us to live in the world today.”
Joy described that the podcast can be a safe space for women to discuss tough and personal questions where they may feel alone and isolated in their experiences.
“I hope this podcast offers an alternative and shows Catholic women that they are not alone, that the Church recognises the unique gifts we bring to our community and our relationships, and that our questions and our experiences can be talked about and celebrated,” she said.
Over the last twelve months, the co-hosts have discussed a range of topics including modesty, the feminine genius, exploring vocations and what the Resurrection means to them.
Even though the topics can be serious, the hosts speak with genuine joy, no pun intended, compassion and hope using examples from their own life experiences, making the podcast feel like “having a chat with my mates,” according to Rosie.
The hosts wished to thank their supporters over the last year for journeying with them, and for sharing their enthusiasm for the podcast with other young women and encouraged new listeners to give it a go.
Joy said, “it’s always encouraging to receive a message or email from someone who has discovered an episode and enjoyed the podcast, especially women I’ve never met, but reach out to say thanks. It’s so affirming, and I’m grateful that we’re making a difference.
“Qwayne, Rosie and I are just three ordinary women who have our own unique experiences of how God has seen us as we are, offering to transform our deepest sins, strengthen our hearts and celebrate our triumphs.
“We are simply journeying together, and I hope you will join us as we learn and grow together.“
Qwayne added, “don’t be afraid to open your heart to Jesus. He already knows you and desires nothing but your good.
“Take the risk!”
The At The Well podcast is recorded monthly and is available on the new Diocese of Parramatta resource The Well. Audio versions can also be found by searching for ‘Catholic Youth Parramatta’ on Soundcloud and Spotify.
You are welcome to join the conversation through the ‘At The Well Podcast – Community’ page on Facebook, where you can submit your own topics and questions for discussion.
This article was originally featured in the Spring 2020 Edition of the Catholic Outlook Magazine.